arabic mission

passage of Zwemer citated by arabic sources

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Dear fellows,

In my work in arabic countries, I came across a few arabic sources stating a sermon Samuel Zwemer gave at the international missionary council in Jerusalem 1928. I'd like to know it this is authentic.  

The main point is that Zwemer would have said that the cause of a missionary is not to convert the muslims to christianity, cause this is a honor for them. But our cause is to get them from their primitive beliefs. 

If anyone could verify if Zwemer really said this it would help me in my work, cause I can't judge the authenticity without knowing the reports of this council, which I could't find. 

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Hi @arabic mission!  Welcome.  I don't know if we have any Calvinists here who are familiar with Samuel Zwemer and his mission.  The missionary work we do is the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which is not considered by the Calvinists as Christian as the church doesn't believe in the concept of the Holy Trinity.

In any case, in this book:

Samuel Zwemer, Thinking Missions with Christ, (London: Marshall, Organ & Scott, 1934), 67. See Vander Werff, Christian Mission to Muslims, 260.

Zwemer states that "The chief end of missions is not the salvation of men but the glory of God."  That might be what you're looking for?

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Dear Anatess2, thank you for your time and your reply. 

Actually what they claim he would have said was at the council and was way more explicit then his sentence in the quote you've stated. 

I found a few sources here but I didn't find any report of his sermons. 

Any help from anyone would be very welcome, thank you all. 


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Martyn stated


even if I never should see a native converted, God may design by my patience and continuance in the word to encourage future missionaries

which was cited by Zwermer in Islam: A Challenge to Faith, 197. 

However, it sounds as if you are looking for a discourse recorded rather than something specifically written by Zwermer. 

From your comments it sounds as if you are looking for a specific statement at the Jerusalem Missionary councils...which could be hard to get and research I imagine.  I'm not a specialist of religion but those are the individuals that probably could give you the best research items for you to look into this.

I did find a link online to where they are slowly putting the Missionary Conferences of Jerusalem in 1928 online.  It is an 8 volume set, but I did not see a specific item from Zwermer in it.


The link to those if you wish to take a look is at

Jerusalem Missions Conference 1928

Though admittedly this may not be exactly what you are looking for as you did specify councils and not conference.


PS: I should note there is a THESIS that discusses this in some detail by a Yohannes Bekele submitted to the University of Birmingham for a Masters of Philosophy (and I ripped the Martyn quote from there, attributing it correctly).  It is called


And I'm doing a quick search to find it online somewhere if I can.

PPS:  Found it online publically and available for download.

It can be found here

Edited by JohnsonJones

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